We have recently acquired two brooms, one from Danny Dozier and the other from Mary Miller.
The broom Danny presented to Old Independence Regional Museum looks similar to what we would consider a ceiling fan duster – a long pole with an oval head made of soft bristles attached to it
. Upon research, this broom has been in existence for a long time with different uses, most noticeably advertised as a cobweb broom. The bristles and shape would definitely aid in the removal of pesky cobwebs lurking in tight corners in any room.
The second broom gifted by Mary Miller was initially a long-term loan that she graciously gave to us last week. Most agree it is a hearth broom, but research on this has also given it another name: a cobweb broom! The stout handle and lengthy bristles clearly indicate it could reach hidden corners in a room. For our display, it was used during the Great Depression to keep the porch clean. As a hearth broom, it does have a loop affixed to the handle for easy hanging from the hearth. However, its overall length may have prevented that.
Both these brooms will appear in our 1940s kitchen for our “A Taste of Community” exhibit, a collaboration between OIRM and the Smithsonian Institution. Come by beginning January 2024 to see this amazing exhibit celebrating how food affects us as individuals, within our social groups, as a community, and as a society. If you have any items you would like to present to OIRM to include in the “A Taste of Community” exhibit, please call us at 870 793-2121. Thank you, and we will see you at the museum!